Friday, January 15, 2010
Fair Haired and Funny
As Anna Farris said in her NY Times interview, these days most comedies have a girl playing the 'straight man' to the funny guy. In other words playing the boring, stable, wet blanket that props up the dudes jokes. I guess this is why I find myself rooting over and over again for any actress that manages to steal a little bit of the comedic spotlight in any of the recent Judd Apatow and Co. type movies. However, it also seems that you have to have leading lady looks to even get in playing the best friend of the leading lady. This has created a handful of blonde bombshells who are primed for world comedic domination if only Hollywood would consider them bankable and let them get a fair amount of the good lines in the movie. I wonder sometimes if the world is okay with people like Tina Fey being so revered because she downplays her looks - like would the Apatow crowd totally loose their shit if someone like Elizabeth Banks started drawing in more money than their underdogs like Jason Segal? It would be like their worst high school nightmares all over again. Anyhow, there are a lot of different ways to look at this stuff. For instance, whats up with Rashida Jones - with her roles in Parks and Rec, The Office, and I Love You Man, she must have a load of funny stuff under that 'straight man' act. Someone give her more funny stuff. And I thought Amanda Seyfried was amazingly funny in Mean Girls, so why is she making shitty romantic dramas these days?
So here are a few of my favorites who are managing to get their toes in the door with their babeness and then really deliver on the comedy.
Elizabeth Banks - I've loved her since that ditzy camp counselor she played in Wet Hot American Summer. Her and Paul Rudd really secured their roles as the hot hilarious couple of our generation's romantic comedies in that movie. I've gone to see movies like Slither in the theater cause I have such faith in her. She was amazing in the 40 Year Old Virgin -really rounding off the movie at a steady R rating. Banks has played everything from Laura Bush( W) to a slacker making a porno with her roomate (Zack and Miri). She occasionally plays totally normal not funny characters but she's also the only girl who seems to really fit in with the Apatow crowd. I wish they'd give her more good roles. Writing roles for actresses like Katherine Heigl and and Mila Kunis only proves how intimidated Apatow Inc. is of an actually funny gal like Elizabeth Banks.
Unfortunately, its really hard to find good clips from her online. Most of them are labeled "Elizabeth Banks in sexy panties!". This is a funny take on the Sarah Silverman fucking Matt Damon video. It actually makes more sense though, cause boning Seth Rogen will probably get you a lot further these days.
Anna Faris - Anna Faris is bypassing the Apatow machine and doing it on her own. She might in fact be the most successful of these blond babes because of that. She lists Goldie Hawn as her favorite actress and it really shows, she's like our generation's screwed up postmodern Goldie Hawn. She built up a good base with 4 Scary Movies and smaller roles in amazing stuff like The Hot Chick (oh yea and Brokeback Mountain and Lost In Translation). Then after really proving herself with an epic Britney's back! type performance in Just Friends she's now leading lady material in both big hollywood(The House Bunny) and art house movies(Smiley Face). When Greg Araki picks you to star in his only female fronted movie ever, well its like you've been chosen by the gods.
Rachel McAdams -Rachel McAdams plays the hot boring girl a lot, but when she does comedy its really great. I really wish she'd go back to doing some awesome stuff like Mean Girls or her small parts in The Hot Chick. Actually those two movies are really great in that they have more than one funny great actress in them. The Hot Chick is one of my not so secret favorites cause its got Anna Farris and Rachel McAdams as best friends, and then Rob Schneider comes in and switches bodies with Rachel McAdams. Seeing her play a hot chick whose body has been possessed by a loser criminal dude is kind of amazing. Like obviously he would try to cash in on her looks by doing some really shitty strip routines for money.
But really Mean Girls still really stands up there as one of the funniest teen girl movies ever. More proof that if you let Tina Fey continue world domination, with Amy Poehler as the all powerful Godmother, and then you let the female characters actually have substance and sass you can make a really good movie.